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View Full Version : I declare...BANKRUPTCY!!!


Irving Patrick Freleigh
01-16-2019, 04:25 PM
Welp, it finally happened; the swamp has filed for bankruptcy.

They've announced about 40 store closings, are about to close 40 more stores, and will auction off the rest of their pharmacy business, but otherwise are trying to keep going.

Looks like I got off that sinking ship just in time.

ETA: my old store is one that is closing.

taxguykarl
01-16-2019, 05:37 PM
Congratulations on dodging that bullet.

Rosco the Iroc
01-16-2019, 06:24 PM
Key is ejecting BEFORE the plane crash. Nice.

mjr
01-16-2019, 07:11 PM
Just like Michael Scott:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuZeff2y32M

Mental_Mouse
01-16-2019, 11:42 PM
Key is ejecting BEFORE the plane crash. Nice.

Like this guy (https://fearoflanding.com/photography/the-story-behind-an-unbelievable-photograph/)? :angel:

So, can you name the swamp now?

dalesys
01-17-2019, 12:16 AM
Like this guy (https://fearoflanding.com/photography/the-story-behind-an-unbelievable-photograph/)? :angel:

So, can you name the swamp now?
Sh(p)o(o)pko:p

Pixelated
01-17-2019, 03:26 AM
Congratulations on dodging that bullet.

I second this!

Arcus
01-17-2019, 06:25 AM
All 13 stores in my area are shutting down. They started the closing sale on Jan 1st. The one closest to me opened almost 30 years ago, and in all that time the parking lot was no more than 25% full. I have no idea why they kept it open this long. There is no way it was making enough to pay the bills.

Mental_Mouse
01-17-2019, 09:39 AM
Sh(p)o(o)pko:p

And as expected, I haven't encountered them (because I'm on the other side of the continent :angel:).

But I expect I'll be hearing more about them in the next few weeks. :D

Ghel
01-17-2019, 02:32 PM
The local paper's website linked to a list on the Swamp's website listing 105 stores closing in the next few months. Apparently the Swamp nearest me is staying open. I've only been in it once. :shrug:

dalesys
01-17-2019, 02:38 PM
My dauger worked there 16-18 years ago. She heard they were closing 13 stores here in Utah. On their website's store locator they were listing a store in Sugarhouse that was *demolished* nearly two years ago...:shrug:

Kittykat
01-18-2019, 03:54 AM
Now that it's closing, what store was the Swamp? lol

Victory Sabre
01-18-2019, 05:26 PM
Now that it's closing, what store was the Swamp? lol

Sh(p)o(o)pko:p

I'm surprised that both of my local ones are staying open. I would have thought the one on the east side of town would close, but it isn't.

Tama
01-19-2019, 01:13 AM
I've been trying to guess for years. I had never heard of this place...huh.

Oh well, not an issue now.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
01-19-2019, 07:10 PM
I went there today to get my optical records released. They had me fill out a form and they will be mailed to me.

The optical people tried to convince me that the optical department will just move to a different building and continue operations, as that is what the company is saying will happen. Yeah no. They don't have money to pay creditors, but they have money to buy or lease a different storefront and renovate it? Sounds like disinformation so the optical people don't just walk out before the final day.

When that was done I took a look around at the liquidation sales. There were absolutely no deals to be found. Very few people browsing. That was probably the final time I'll ever set foot in there.

Food Lady
01-22-2019, 05:35 AM
Sh(p)o(o)pko:pOtherwise known as notTarget.

Aria
01-29-2019, 07:48 PM
I've never heard of this place in my life but I'm Canadian so not surprising. Congrats on getting out at a good time!

Nunavut Pants
01-29-2019, 09:28 PM
It's only a little south of you. Actually, there are likely some stores that are north of some parts of Canada!

Food Lady
01-30-2019, 01:05 AM
I read in the paper today that they are going to reorganize. They gained $63 million from the sale of the pharmacies in the stores. I wonder if they can make it.

Tama
01-30-2019, 02:08 AM
Probably not, but they're going to try anyway

morgana
01-30-2019, 03:17 AM
The "Everything Must Go!" signs are out at the one closest to me. Not that I've been in there in about three years.

ETA: Looks like all four in Lincoln are closing. No great loss, IMHO.

TheSHAD0W
01-30-2019, 01:48 PM
... I took a look around at the liquidation sales. There were absolutely no deals to be found. Very few people browsing.

When a company goes to liquidation, their creditors usually turn it over to a company that specializes in liquidation sales. You can usually tell by their big colorful signs. There usually are no good deals at first, it drags out for months, and you'll occasionally luck out if you go later in the sale but it's slim pickings.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
01-30-2019, 05:30 PM
I read in the paper today that they are going to reorganize. They gained $63 million from the sale of the pharmacies in the stores. I wonder if they can make it.

I highly doubt it. The sale of the pharmacies netted significantly less money than they were hoping.

They will also need somebody to buy the company or invest money into it to keep it going. Even if that happens, a lot more money will be needed to make the company even remotely competitive. Most of the stores have seen no upgrades in 15-25 years, technology is outdated, processes are hilariously inefficient (and the only answer Shopko was ever willing to accept for that is "work harder), the prices are way too high and the wages are too low to attract anybody but first-jobbers and the basically unemployable.

As I understand it, the company was put up for sale before the bankruptcy filing, but nobody was willing to buy it.

Buzzard
01-30-2019, 06:46 PM
A business up for sale is nice and all, but if it will cost more to update the systems to useful/competitive than it will cost to build new, or take too long to pay off investment... nope.

Just another case of killing the cash cow by not bothering to FEED it.

Arcus
01-31-2019, 02:23 AM
Been watching the store closing near me. They are up to 40% on the sale, yet there never seems to be more than 4 or 5 cars in the parking lot. They had even hired 4 sign twirler for last saturday. Last major store closing I remember had a full parking lot at this point.

I don't think this is going too well for them at this location.


Other effects of this have started though. A large number of the pharmacy customers have started going to the store at the other end of the complex. This one has always been a little understaffed and even though they have signs everywhere welcoming the new customers, they were not ready for it. It now takes twice as long to fill and they keep running out everything. This is bad for my parents because now they never know if they will get what they need or if they will have to call around to find it somewhere else.

Mental_Mouse
01-31-2019, 02:41 AM
Been watching the store closing near me. They are up to 40% on the sale, yet there never seems to be more than 4 or 5 cars in the parking lot. They had even hired 4 sign twirler for last saturday. Last major store closing I remember had a full parking lot at this point.


So they can't even handle their bankruptcy... :rolleyes:

Food Lady
01-31-2019, 05:35 AM
processes are hilariously inefficient (and the only answer Shopko was ever willing to accept for that is "work harder), the prices are way too high and the wages are too low to attract anybody but first-jobbers and the basically unemployable.
The "work harder" thing: been there, done that. Yes, prices are too high. I can find some of that stuff for 1/4 the price elsewhere, especially home decor. I don't know what they get paid but I'm sure it's less than at the Bullseye.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
02-05-2019, 06:08 PM
I received a letter about the bankruptcy filing in the mail yesterday, along with instructions about filing a claim to recover debt owed, if any. Or something.

Is it normal to receive such a letter if a company for which you used to work files for bankruptcy?

Argus
02-06-2019, 02:30 AM
Is it normal to receive such a letter if a company for which you used to work files for bankruptcy?
I did for my first employer. (In that case, there actually was some debt; the unemployment office told us we could count the missed payday as the job termination date.)

Sending a few letters where the remaining debt actually is $0 leads to less of a headache than finding out afterwards that some creditors were overlooked.

Victory Sabre
02-07-2019, 11:54 AM
Well, there's a new list out of stores closing, and now the one on the east side of town is closing.

I am surprised it wasn't in the first list.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
02-07-2019, 03:57 PM
About 70% of the company's stores are closing in total.

The news hinted at prospective buyers, so maybe somebody is willing to throw money down this particular hole? IDK. The list of stores staying open still doesn't make a lot of sense.

Tama
02-08-2019, 12:13 AM
Is there any kind of sense to it? Like the stores in X state or Y area?

Irving Patrick Freleigh
02-08-2019, 04:13 PM
The stores staying open are more spread out than I thought they would go with. Then again maybe they are the most profitable ones.

mhkohne
02-08-2019, 06:14 PM
The stores staying open are more spread out than I thought they would go with. Then again maybe they are the most profitable ones.

That may be good for them - spread out means they have less chance of cannibalizing another store's sales. Of course, that assumes that those stores are profitable (or close to it) and the whole thing has any chance of success.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
03-02-2019, 10:10 PM
I'm not a corporate finance expert or anything, but I assume not paying state sales tax is kind of bad?

Because I read yesterday that Shopko owed about $20 million in back sales tax to the state of Wisconsin. Which is pretty darn funny considering their last advertising campaign was "Proud to Call Wisconsin Home (As we stiff them on sales tax)"

Tama
03-03-2019, 12:12 AM
How far back do these back taxes date, or did they say?

Irving Patrick Freleigh
03-03-2019, 02:11 AM
Article here (https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/money/2019/03/01/shopko-dividends-under-investigation-also-owes-wisconsin-13-5-million/2906336002/)

Looks like the unpaid taxes are from 2013-2016. Also I was off on the total amount, which is $13.5 million (taxes and penalties)

Tama
03-03-2019, 02:23 AM
Won't be long before it's $20 mil if they keep not paying though :p

Also thanks for the link

It looks like they knew they were in trouble long before this bankruptcy happened.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
03-18-2019, 06:57 PM
Aaaaaaaand it's gone. Just announced that Shopko will close all its stores by June.

ETA: the local newsrag has a story about a "ruckus" at my former store. It describes the ruckus as a drunk guy confronting a couple employees because he thought they laughed at him, and striking one of them. My city is officially the Florida Man of Wisconsin.

Victory Sabre
03-18-2019, 08:24 PM
Aaaaaaaand it's gone. Just announced that Shopko will close all its stores by June.



Wow! That was fast.

csquared
03-18-2019, 08:49 PM
Not really. Based on Irv's stories, they have been failing for a good 4 - 5 years. Management was either slow to realize it, or (per one article I saw) kept it on life support so they could milk it for all it was worth.

Arcus
03-19-2019, 06:18 AM
About 1/3 of the ones around here closed on Sunday. I know of two more this Sunday and the last should be gone a week after that.

It's a weird feeling seeing them closed, even though I never went to them.

Racket_Man
03-20-2019, 04:01 AM
Wow! That was fast.

They could not find a buyer. They were originally going to keep a few stores (not sure of the number) going if they found a buyer. my local mall now has lost 2 major anchor stores in less than a year because of bankruptcy and all stores closing.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
04-23-2019, 04:31 PM
The swamp's last day of business was yesterday.

Apparently the optical business will be saved and eventually moving to a new location; until then I guess it will operate in the otherwise-vacant building.

Victory Sabre
04-26-2019, 04:37 PM
The local Swamps are either 50% or 70% clearance prices now.

Won't be long now.

Racket_Man
04-29-2019, 05:36 AM
All of the ones in my area are now closed

Food Lady
04-30-2019, 04:20 AM
I was thinking about going yesterday, I think. I don't think it's sunk in that I won't be able to go in there to get Payless shoes. Well, I won't be able to go anywhere for those.

Nunavut Pants
04-30-2019, 04:27 PM
Huh? There's still a Payless in my town; I picked up dinner the other day from the restaurant that's right next to it!

dalesys
04-30-2019, 05:13 PM
Huh? There's still a Payless in my town; I picked up dinner the other day from the restaurant that's right next to it!
Yep, Payless is going going gong! My kids little sister has a work scholarship from them that's evaporated.

Aria
04-30-2019, 07:00 PM
What, really? *googles* Oh wow, they are. I hardly ever shopped at Payless but that's still rather sad.

Racket_Man
05-01-2019, 03:52 AM
I was thinking about going yesterday, I think. I don't think it's sunk in that I won't be able to go in there to get Payless shoes. Well, I won't be able to go anywhere for those.

Payless does have stand alone stores outside of the Swamp/. I know of 2 in my area one in a strip mall in front of WM and one in the local Mall. If you are where I think you are try the BIG mall in town

Food Lady
05-05-2019, 06:54 PM
I'm in right now. Virtually nothing left in Payless. The store isn't too messy. I'm surprised.

KuariKaydrith
05-06-2019, 12:26 AM
The two Payless stores in my city are closed up and as many of their fixtures as possible were sold. I'm a bit sad because I got most of my shoes from there, and now I have to find another place to get them that won't break the bank :/

Nunavut Pants
05-06-2019, 05:47 PM
My experience with that store is quite old now, but I remember that everything I bought from there fell apart in pretty short order. That's why I stopped going; I figured out that I was paying more from having to buy cheap products multiple times.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
05-06-2019, 06:00 PM
The swamp has been closed for two weeks now. Optical is still operating out of the building.

I drove past there yesterday, and the side of the store, where trucks used to drive through and make deliveries, is completely filled with trash. Haphazardly-piled trash. Cardboard bales, plastic bales, discarded fixtures and probably other kinds of garbage, all shoved into a pile spilling out into the driveway. Bet the disposal company's bill is yet another one the company wasn't paying.

So I imagine all that stuff will become the city's problem once it starts blowing out into the neighborhood. Or somebody sets it on fire.

Arcus
05-07-2019, 03:02 AM
All the ones that closed around here look the same as that. I'm betting they just don't care because there is nothing left for the cities to try and get to pay for it all.

Jay 2K Winger
05-07-2019, 05:45 PM
Saw this on Reddit. Relevant to this thread.

https://i.imgur.com/dFBZVPc.jpg

Irving Patrick Freleigh
05-07-2019, 07:10 PM
Probably looking for people to work a few weeks to sell all the remaining merchandise and tear down all the fixtures. I imagine the liquidation announcement prompted many employees to GTFO right away.

I saw postings on Indeed advertising "friends and family seasonal opportunities" for my store before it closed. The job description was verbatim from their Christmas postings last year.

Liquidation is supposed to be finished next month.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
06-24-2019, 12:33 AM
Apropos of nothing, today is the last day of operations for the remaining clearance swamp stores.

The mess behind the now-shuttered store I used to work at has been cleaned up, and I believe the optical is now in the process of being moved to a new space.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
07-14-2019, 06:01 PM
Former clearance swamp employees are still being stiffed on severance pay, and now a U.S Senator is demanding answers. (https://www.wbay.com/content/news/Senator-Tammy-Baldwin-demands-severance-pay-for-former-Shopko-employees-512687101.html)

Very happy to see she's doing this. Also the guy in the black shirt is a former co-worker of mine.

Food Lady
07-17-2019, 11:38 PM
I got severance when I left Payless and it was only one store that was closing. The Swamp is/was a mess.

Arcus
07-18-2019, 02:27 AM
After riding one company to it's end, I can say there is a chance they will never get what is owed to them. I am still owed 2 paychecks from the company I worked for and they have said there is no way I will ever get my money. They told me to my face that the company is shut down, the bank account is closed, the former owner is broke and everything he owned was taken already.

They told us we could try to sue him, but we would be so far down the list that he would be dead before he pays off everyone before us.

Nunavut Pants
07-18-2019, 05:52 PM
That's a depressingly common thing here in Silicon Valley. It's a known and accepted part of the whole "start-up" culture--if your idea or product or whatever doesn't pan out, your employer may run out of money. Usually they're also in debt to the point where selling all of the office furniture and equipment won't cover more than a small fraction of the debt. So you don't get paid for your last one or two (sometimes more!) pay periods, let alone get severance.

I think the presumption is that the pay before that is good enough, and the possibility of the company/product is good enough, that you're willing to take that sort of risk.

Not me. I've only ever worked for large companies and government agencies...

XCashier
07-19-2019, 02:04 AM
I always wondered what store was being called the "Clearance Swamp" here! I almost never shopped at Shopko because their prices were too high. When you can get a nearly-identical (or better) item for half the price at Walmart, Ross or Target, why spend more?

The clearance sales just dragged on. By the time they got down to a decent discount, very little was left. I did luck out and got a pair of boots and a pair of sneakers at great prices (and my shoe size is really difficult to find!) Almost bought a display bookcase for $10, but there was no way it would fit in my car and no way to take it apart to make it fit.

Sorry to hear the former employees are getting stiffed on their pay. :( I hope Senator Baldwin can help them.

Food Lady
07-20-2019, 05:58 AM
Almost bought a display bookcase for $10, but there was no way it would fit in my car and no way to take it apart to make it fit.
Reminds me of Irv having to play Tetris with the customers' furniture. Glad you aren't the type to do that to them.

XCashier
07-20-2019, 04:13 PM
Reminds me of Irv having to play Tetris with the customers' furniture. Glad you aren't the type to do that to them.
Oh no. When we first moved out here and had to buy all new furniture, we rented a U-Haul truck and went to the furniture stores with it. The employees were very happy not to have to try to wrestle a queen-size bed into a Chevy Metro!

Minflick
07-21-2019, 03:05 PM
Hah hah hah! I used to have a mom-van. I could fit a queen mattress in it, but not the box springs. That thing was huge, though, and I could get a LOT of stuff in it. 6 bales of hay. 5 goats. 7 children, or 3 plus luggage. Now it's UHaul all the way...

greek_jester
07-22-2019, 01:31 PM
I have discovered over the last 6 months of moving everything out of my house to my late mum's bungalow that a Toyota Yaris with the back seats down can hold a remarkable amount of stuff. Still going to need someone with a van for the bookcase, beds and settee, though... :(

Nunavut Pants
07-22-2019, 05:29 PM
I am a fan of small cars. I have, as a result, managed to carry an awful lot of stuff that most people didn't think would fit. Particularly into my old Honda CRX. (Think 80s-vintage Civic hatchback with the back seat area chopped out and the car shortened by that much.)

I moved a steamer trunk type container for a friend who was moving; the van he had borrowed couldn't fit it but my CRX could!
I moved a whole antique vanity desk/mirror assembly, plus weekend getaway luggage, plus my (now-) wife and myself. The guy at the antique shop said, "I'll wait until you pull your truck around." No, my truck is right there. That little tiny hatch-back? Yeah, that one. I had to take the luggage out and re-pack it around the desk, but by gum it fit!
On a couple of occasions, we moved four dozen helium balloons. OK, those weren't inside the car, they were actually out the sunroof. I told people we were trying to get to Oz...

greek_jester
07-22-2019, 08:59 PM
I am a fan of small cars. I have, as a result, managed to carry an awful lot of stuff that most people didn't think would fit.

In my case it was a 6 seater table plus 4 dining chairs. That raised a few eyebrows at the tip! Sadly they couldn't sell the chairs as they were covered and the previous owner removed the fire labels so they had to be scrapped, but the table was hardwood and was sold on.

csquared
07-23-2019, 12:20 AM
I have had several small cars. Fold down the back seat. Carefully arrange stuff. You can get a lot in one.

However, when I bought my house, I also bought an '71 F250. I am pretty sure that I would not have gotten all 36, 60LBS bags of concrete home, in one trip, in an '89 Ford Festiva.

Nunavut Pants
07-23-2019, 01:04 AM
I have had several small cars.

Back seat? What's that?? ;)

http://www.2040-cars.com/_content/cars/images/47/706447/005.jpg

(Yes, the JDM cars had one, but mine was a US-market car.)

Ironclad Alibi
07-24-2019, 10:22 PM
I have had several small cars. Fold down the back seat. Carefully arrange stuff. You can get a lot in one.

However, when I bought my house, I also bought an '71 F250. I am pretty sure that I would not have gotten all 36, 60LBS bags of concrete home, in one trip, in an '89 Ford Festiva.

And here we have this classic story from years gone by: Overloaded Car. (https://www.cybersalt.org/funny-car-pictures/car-overload)

Bandit
07-24-2019, 11:45 PM
Back in the day, I had an apartment by a major mall that had a Snears Clearance Center.

When I was feeling really bored, I'd walk over to the gas station beside it for a drink and just watch people try to load the cheap furniture into their cars by themselves.

The best were the ones who had a mattress and box spring, put it on the roof and securely tied it down going through the car.

All was good until they realized that they had managed to tie the car doors shut as they had just rolled down the windows.

Most would swear, undo everything, and then redo it with the doors open.

Others would just do a Dukes of Hazzard and climb in through the rolled down windows and drive away. :D

B

Arcus
07-25-2019, 07:12 AM
And here we have this classic story from years gone by: Overloaded Car. (https://www.cybersalt.org/funny-car-pictures/car-overload)

That reminds me of the car I saw pulled over on a freeway onramp (wish I had my camera for it.) They had 3 full sized refrigerators on the roof and a washing machine sticking out of the trunk of a beat up civic. The driver was arguing with one officer while another officer was taking pictures of the car. I could hear the guy screaming that they had no right to stop him driving with his car loaded like that.

dalesys
07-25-2019, 12:56 PM
...They had 3 full sized refrigerators on the roof and a washing machine sticking out of the trunk of a beat up civic. ...
"When I was in high school I saw a donkey loaded like this in National Geographic. This is my ass and I'll load it however I want!"

Jay 2K Winger
07-25-2019, 08:23 PM
I have had several small cars. Fold down the back seat. Carefully arrange stuff. You can get a lot in one.

Can confirm. I once witnessed a customer at the wholesale club fit several big patio furniture boxes into a small car (it's been more than 15 years now since it happened, so I can't remember the details), and if I hadn't been there to see it (and actually helped her get some of the boxes into the car), I wouldn't have believed it.

Hell, I even told her, after she pulled up to the curb with the car, "This is not going to fit in there." She looked me in the eye and said, "Yes it will, I took the first half of my order home earlier today."

After we were done, I stood back, shook my head, and apologized to her for doubting her car's storage capacity.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
07-29-2019, 01:52 AM
Yesterday I received a mailer from clearance swamp optical, telling me the last mailer they sent me, which I've long since discarded, had the wrong phone number for the local optometrist and listing the correct phone number.

Nice to see the optical operation is just as amateur-hour as the retail operation was. :lol:

BPFH
07-30-2019, 01:28 AM
I have had several small cars. Fold down the back seat. Carefully arrange stuff. You can get a lot in one.

Oh, heck yes.

The entire contents of my dorm room in a 1991 Geo Metro. Or the water heater currently sitting in my basement in the back of a 2008 Chevy Aveo5. (Okay, I did have to tie down the hatchback for that one, but still...)

Racket_Man
07-31-2019, 05:14 AM
I have moved and stuffed SSSOOOOO many things big and small on/in the various cars I have owned over the years --- couches, chairs, recliners, full sized dressers, tables, various major appliances, a king sized water bed with 12 drawer underdresser standard headboard and decking (did that in one trip) .

I almost wish I had taken pictures over the years so I would have proof.

Valentinian
08-01-2019, 01:42 AM
I got 18 cement cinder blocks and a bunch of lumber in the back of my Suzuki Swift. My husband made me promise never to do that again because he feared I'd bust the shocks. Pffffft, it was riding fine...

SpyOne
08-02-2019, 05:43 AM
Reminds me of Irv having to play Tetris with the customers' furniture. Glad you aren't the type to do that to them.


I had just moved into a new place and needed some new furniture when a house a couple of miles away sprouted furniture on its lawn. Stopped to ask, and the landlord said the previous tenant left the furniture behind and he was throwing it out.

The vehicles I had at the time were a 1985 Olds Delta 88 (lotsa passenger room but limited cargo space) and a 1989 Honda CRX (Surprisingly large cargo space, especially with the hatch open.

One trip with the dining room table, another with the chairs. Then there was a set of two bookshelves. Very tall bookshelves. Not a problem: new living room has high ceilings (from having been the garage). And of course I can fit 4-foot-wide shelves in the CRX.
Except the balance point of the shelves was past the edge of the car.

So I had to hold the front end down as I drove to prevent it tipping up and then sliding out of the car. And that was two trips because it was two book cases.